The women had been abducted and sold as brides for single men in Handan county of Hebei province, Sina News reports. The youngest among them was just 17 years old, while the oldest was 32.

In November in Handan, 100 Vietnamese women sold as brides had suddenly gone missing after telling their husbands that they were dining out with other Vietnamese brides. It was suspected that an organized ring was involved and had been scamming Chinese bachelors, some of whom paid as much as 18,600 USD for their wives.

Jinghua Daily reported, however, that one of the brides returned to her husband and claimed she'd lost consciousness after a meal. She said she'd woken up in another village and was told she was going somewhere else to "find a new husband".

From 2009 to 2012, Chinese police returned more than 1,800 women who had been brought to China illegally, according to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.

Another report from 2011 found that 60 percent of women who were brought to China by traffickers from 2005 to 2009 escaped. Around 25 percent were rescued by Chinese police and the rest were released after their families paid the traffickers.

By Katie Nelson - Shanghaiist - January 23, 2015